Beltre reports to camp, details urge to win

February 19th, 2018

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Third baseman went right to the point when asked about the Rangers' offseason moves on Monday.
"There are still a lot of free agents out there that haven't signed," Beltre said. "A lot of free agents out there … too many."
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Pitcher and outfielder J.D. Martinez were two of the players Beltre mentioned specifically. The Rangers aren't likely to get involved with either one, but Beltre made it clear he wouldn't mind seeing his team do more.
"That's the idea," Beltre said. "If you are a player, you would like that. We would like to have the best team on paper and figure out how to do it on the field."
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Beltre showed up at Spring Training on Monday morning, and what he says carries significant weight in the clubhouse. He is the undisputed team leader and a future Hall of Famer. Beltre has made it clear repeatedly that his goal is to win a World Series before his career is over. He has also made it clear he wants to feel his team is going to compete for a spot in the postseason and is not in a rebuilding mode.
He believes this team does have a chance to compete for the postseason, but thinks those chances could increase with a few more moves.
"Oh yeah, 100 percent," Beltre said. "I can't control what they add. Obviously, I want us to have the best team we can have. Whatever team we are going to have, we are going to compete. That's the idea.
"I am not unhappy. Obviously, we are going to go to war with what we have and we do have a really good team. Obviously, we can be better, especially with the free agents out there that are still unsigned. There is no doubt I would like to win and have the best chance to win. That being said, if it were my option, I would like to add more people and make the team stronger."

General manager Jon Daniels said before Spring Training that if Beltre was the GM, he would have made some different moves. Beltre confirmed that was the case. The two have had multiple conversations since the end of the 2017 season.
"He has been honest with me," Beltre said. "Since the end of last year, we have talked and exchanged some ideas. He let me know kind of the way they were going this year. There was no promise this year we were going [to get] into the free-agent market and buy the top free agents.
"He let me know it was going to be a little different. Did I want to hear that? Probably not. I want to have the best team, but I don't have to pay those checks."
Beltre said he wasn't disappointed in what the Rangers did this offseason.
"I mean, I wouldn't call it disappointment, because I already knew what was going on," Beltre said. "I mean, I would like to be more satisfied, put it that way, in the sense of putting a better team. It's not that the team [isn't good], but we could add some other pieces. Again, especially knowing the free agents that are out there, there are a lot of free agents that we can add. Preferably, I would [like to] get some of those guys."

Beltre is entering his 21st season and can also be a free agent after this one is over. He turns 39 on April 7. Beltre said he "assumes" he will play next year, but there are no guarantees.
"Things could change," Beltre said. "I don't want to tell you 100 percent yes or 100 percent no. It's going to be year by year -- after the year is over I will decide what is next."
In 2016, Beltre came into camp in the same contract situation. He was eligible for free agency after the season was over and it was a significant topic of conversation. Beltre ended up getting a contract extension through '18.
Another extension has not yet become a major topic of this spring.
"I don't even think about it," Beltre said. "This is Spring Training. I don't know. I came in with no expectations. I wasn't thinking about it until you brought it up. My situation doesn't matter for this team right now."
The contract situation may be on hold because of what happened last year. Beltre reached a significant milestone with his 3,000th hit, but injuries limited him to just 94 games, his lowest since his rookie season. Beltre's health is likely a bigger concern than his contract at this point.
"I'm good," Beltre said. "I'm scary good."
He altered his workouts with the intent to be lighter this year.
"When you age … it's better to be lighter," Beltre said. "There are some things I need to understand now that I am 38, almost 39. I want to make sure I'm 100 percent mentally and physically ready to go. This year was more understanding what to look for and not push it to be ready to go at the first [day] of Spring Training."